Relays : White Dwarf
_Message sent: 48 days 21 hours ago.
_From: Joséphine (Perdurance-class AI) aboard survey ship "In Due Time" (affiliation: Tau Ceti Settlement Syndicate).
Object: report of relay station with unregistered modifications.
As we translated into system LSPM J0207+3331 (145 lightyears away from the solar system reference point), sensor arrays reported the presence of a relay station that did not respond to our hails. We approached the station, assuming it was a deactivated or unresponsive automated relay base. LSPM J0207+3331 is a white dwarf system whose sole star has a mass equal to roughly 0.60 times the Sun contained and is three billion years old. Its most notable feature is the presence of an extensive ring system made of debris disks. The station is located right outside the main debris ring, a few dozen lightseconds away from the star.
Upon approach within close range (i.e under one lightsecond) we repeated our hails. Still, no response, albeit several automated beacons started tracking us, showing the station was still active. Direct imaging of the relay was requested. It showed that the waystation had undergone significant modifications to its original design. Namely, what appeared to be a small habitation ring had been added and the station sported a docking port for an Open Source Orbiter. Thermal radiations coming from heat sinks showed the station was active, albeit probably in low energy mode.
Upon reaching docking range (i.e under one-quarter of a lightsecond) we sent a third hail. This time we got a response. Transcript of the exchange follows.
_Waystation: "Alright, alright, I heard you the first time, what do you want?"
_In Due Time: "This is TCSS In Due Time, who are we talking to?"
_Waystation: "My name is Mina Himano. I'm this station's sole inhabitant."
_In Due Time: "Do you need help? Are you stranded here?"
_Waystation: "Stranded? No, not at all. I am living here."
_In Due Time: "We are not sure we are understanding you correctly? You...live here? In this system? In the middle of nowhere? Alone?"
_Waystation: "Yes. Why not? What's so strange about it?"
_In Due Time: "White dwarfs are not exactly welcoming stars."
_Waystation: "On the contrary. I love their light. I love the fact that I am staring at a dead star. A stellar ghost. Have you ever fallen in love with a star?"
We came closer to survey the station. All external systems seemed in good shape. We performed simple upgrades on a few obsolete sensors and translated away with a final hail.
Survey still ongoing.
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